Hablamos Español

New Jersey’s Arrest of 105 Illegal Immigrants Leaves Many Unanswered Questions

The recent immigration sweep and arrest of 105 individuals in New Jersey brought more attention to the state’s future plan regarding immigrants. The five-day federal immigration sweep focused on those who were wanted by Interpol for alleged crimes in their home countries, those who illegally re-entered the U.S. after deportation, and several alleged gang members.

Conducted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, the sweep occurred in 16 New Jersey just a day after the state Attorney General shared new guidelines of his Immigrant Trust Directive, limiting law enforcement’s cooperation with federal immigration authorities. Those behind the sweep explained that it was planned before the newly issued directive. The individuals arrested will have to appear before an immigration judge and may face deportation.

Locating Illegal Immigrants Under New Jersey’s New Directive

So if law enforcement in New Jersey is limited in asking about individuals’ immigration status during the course of minor infractions such as traffic stops, and only alert ICE in situations regarding those convicted of more serious crimes, how do they plan to go about finding and removing those who truly pose a threat to the safety of our country is one of the questions on the minds of many. If ICE does in fact, do what it says it plans to, how will it know where to look? It is unclear as to whether the agents will simply act on tips, ask us all to show our papers, or something else.

ICE May Conduct “At-Large” Arrests

In response to the NJ Attorney General’s new directive to local law enforcement, ICE officials expressed the difficulties that they believe they will be facing. Under these conditions of limited cooperation with local and state authorities, ICE officials expressed that they “will have no choice but to conduct at-large arrests in local neighborhoods and at work sites, which will inevitably result in additional collateral arrests, instead of focusing on arrests at jails and prisons where transfers are safer for ICE officers and the community.”

ICE to Target Public Safety Threats

ICE’s plan for Enforcement and Removal Operations follows much of the Trump Administration’s agenda and rhetoric of inducing fear. Its online presence explains that it is looking to “target public safety threats, such as convicted criminal aliens and gang members, as well as individuals who have otherwise violated our nation’s immigration laws, including those who illegally re-entered the country after being removed and immigration fugitives ordered removed by federal immigration judges.”

Many Call for Limitations

But according to many, ICE’s plans for removing those who pose a threat to our public safety and security should remain strictly that – only those who pose a real threat. Many believe that having our trained law enforcement to go after individuals such as food deliverymen. It will be interesting to see how – and if – ICE executes its mission.  Contact our experienced New Jersey immigration law attorney if you are facing trouble with immigration.

Posted in: Articles